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Saturday, January 16, 2016


The National Arts Festival Grahamstown has announced that, with effect from 1 March 2016, it will be implementing a new marketing and Public Relations structure to serve its evolving businesses needs.

“At the moment our marketing activities are spread over a range of suppliers covering PR and Communications, reputation management, writing, social media, above the line marketing, CRM, web and app development and media relations. We’re looking to do some consolidation and streamlining and we will be building a network of suppliers that is flexible according to what we need at any given time,” Festival CEO Tony Lankester said.

Among that network will be a public relations company based closer to the Festival’s operations in Grahamstown and Cape Town. As a result, it was agreed mutually that the Festival will no longer be utilising the services of Johannesburg-based PR specialists, the Famous Idea Trading Company.

The new strategy is partly a response to the Festival’s business diversification strategy, which has seen it launch several new projects, events and business initiatives over the past three years. “We now run the Cape Town Fringe; an intensive Creative City project and a commercial art gallery in Grahamstown, and are looking at rolling out our ticketing operation to more clients in the next year. We’ve had to recalibrate our operations, take a careful look at our staffing and how we spread our resources across the new initiatives,” said Lankester.

Paying tribute to the Famous Idea Trading Company and its Managing Director, Gilly Hemphill, Lankester noted that they had been part of the Festival’s team for 14 years “They have become part of the family – they are passionate, dedicated and unwaveringly supportive of the arts. They’ve done a great job for us, above and beyond the call of duty,” he said. “We’re grateful for the role they have played in getting us this far and know that they are supportive of our onward journey.”

Hemphill added: “Over the past 14 years, the Famous Idea Trading Company has been proud to have been associated with the National Arts Festival. We thank the Festival’s various sponsors and the many artists with whom we have worked to profile and promote the vibrancy of the arts sector. We are also grateful to the media in our extensive network. They have passionately supported our work to promote the Festival, its sponsors and the artists. We extend our best wishes to the Festival as it embarks on its new strategy. The Famous Idea Trading Company will still be engaged in the arts sector where we look forward to continue serving several arts initiatives with the same passion and commitment that we have given to the National Arts Festival over 14 years.”

For more information click on the National Arts Festival banner at the top of the page which links to the festival website.